Young Adult Books by Liana Gardner
Liana Gardner's Young Adult works tend to focus on the darker, more emotional sides of life. In these books she explores, death, grief, heartbreak, abuse, underage drinking, bullying, suicide, rape, censorship, and more. All the things encountered by teens as they navigate their way toward adulthood. In her award-winning Misfit McCabe series, Gardner explores the ramifications of parental death and the emotional aftermath, as well as how Katie McCabe deals with all the changes in her life. Her upcoming project, Speak No Evil, delves into the life of Melody Fisher, a sixteen-year-old in court-mandated therapy for stabbing a classmate.
truth is the harbinger of hell
What if every time you told the truth, evil followed?
My name is Melody Fisher. My daddy was a snake handler in Appalachia until Mama died. Though years have passed, I can still hear the rattle before the strike that took her from me.
And it’s all my fault.
Since then, I’ve been passed around from foster home to foster home. I didn’t think anything could be as bad as losing Mama.
I was wrong.
But I will not speak of things people have done to me. Every time I do, worse evil follows. Now, the only thing I trust is what saved me years ago. Back when I would sing the snakes calm ...
I always felt my characters come to me with their stories to tell, and I am the mere journalist whose job is to breathe life into them on the page. That could not be any truer than in the case of Speak No Evil. This was Melody’s story from the outset, and my responsibility was to document it in the most compelling way and share it with the world.
I have always believed it important to write stories such as this. Women are more empowered to speak up today than ever before, but far too many remain silent—for good reason. Speaking up about abuse is not always met with support. Too often victims are met with ridicule and judgement, blame and shame.
I, along with many women, have personal experience with this. I chose to go to the police, though felt nothing would be done. I spoke up so the next victim might be believed. I spoke out because he took liberties with my body that he had no right to. I wasn’t about to let him take one ounce of my self-worth. I did not ask for it, it was not my fault, and no one would say otherwise.
Not everyone has a Miss Prescott and Dr. Kane … I was fortunate to have a strong support network. For those who don’t, for those who remain silent, it is not your fault. You are not to blame. My greatest wish is that one day you will find your voice and, with it, peace.
Awards and Honors
Press Release: The 2009 Pearson Prize Teen Choice Award winners have been announced and Misfit McCabe by Liana Gardner grabbed runner-up honors. Published in 2008, Misfit McCabe is written for teen readers, a market that can be notoriously difficult to reach. The Pearson Prize attempts to make reading exciting to teens by involving them in selecting a winner and two runner-up prizes for the contest.
Press Release: It’s official. For the second year in a row, Liana Gardner has garnered Pearson Prize Teen Choice award honors with her late 2009 release, Nowhere Feels Like Home. The second book in the Misfit McCabe series captures the tumultuous emotions of the teen years through the struggles of fourteen-year-old Katie McCabe as she copes with grief and anger. By inviting teens to select their favorite books for the contest, The Pearson Prize excites teens about reading.
Current Event from Diary of a Misfit, a short-story compilation companion book to the teen choice award-winning Misfit McCabe series, was featured in an art exhibit called Story Chairs created by artist and writer, Tina Hoggatt.
Liana Gardner captures the emotional and tumultuous teenage years as well as the issues teens face: bullying, peer pressure, grief, loss, underage drinking, suicide, first love, and friendship.
Praise for Misfit McCabe
I read this book hoping for a fun read. What I got was so much more. Liana Gardner is a phenomenal writer…Amanda P. | Goodreads - Review of Misfit McCabe
Liana Gardner is a profound writer that knows teenagers so well! Both of her novels address very real issues of teenagers today and her heroine, Katie McCabe is fantastic.Kitty H. | Goodreads - Review of Nowhere Feels Like Home
Gardner’s storytelling not only excels, but she is a responsible author, taking the time to fully research what she writes. The stinging reality of her stories is a testament to the heart and soul that she puts into her work.Lisette B. | Goodreads - Review of Tattered
I am such a fan of this author because she intensely cares about teen issues: bullying, suicide, self-mutilation, grief, love, and much more. She steps out of the way and lets her character, Katie McCabe, explore her feelings, describe her pain, and make impossible decisions. And that is precisely why Katie is so believable and why her words so easy captivate the reader.Lisette B. | Goodreads - Review of Diary of a Misfit
The Misfit McCabe Series
When Katie McCabe accidentally burns down a neighbor’s shed, she thinks it’s the worst thing that could happen. Boy is she ever wrong. Hustled off to live with her Uncle Charley, Katie struggles with the changes in her life. The only bright spot is making a friend who wants to be more. But the first person she meets is an enemy with ties to her past who believes in dangerous retribution. How far is he willing to go? Katie wonders whether she has the strength to survive.
Stuck in bed with a broken ankle and reeling from the loss of her father, her home, and life as she knew it, Katie McCabe must deal with her anger toward the town bully and a world that’s fallen apart. Being cooped up in the house with Uncle Charley and three overprotective cousins isn’t helping. Despite her new family’s good intentions, Katie feels like a lonely outsider. Will she ever be happy again?
What do Sunday afternoon court proceedings, cheerleader tryouts, and a book burning have in common? Katie McCabe is back in action.
After her nemesis Harvey is found guilty and sentenced to community service, Katie wants to believe her troubles are over, but Harvey won’t rest until he gets revenge. When blackmail rears its ugly head, she’s caught between friends and enemies putting her growing relationship with Dave at stake. Books go up in flames and Katie’s world rains down in tatters.
Katie McCabe is certain she’s ruined the lives of her boyfriend, family, and friends, so she sneaks out of the house and heads down the road in search of the next bus stop. When she gets to a big city, she’s afraid she won’t make it because she doesn’t know how to deal with the pimps, the lunatics, and the fact that she doesn’t have the ID necessary to book a motel room. A cute road worker comes to her rescue and gives her a safe place to stay off the street. As she tries to figure out her life and how she can stop hurting the people she cares about, she’s being stalked by a crazy man who wants to add Katie to his collection. After one brutal encounter, he finds her again while she is lost in the city and desperate to make it to safety.